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Friday, December 18, 1998 Published at 18:26 GMT


Oxford sets new record for research earnings

Oxford University has increased its income from industry by 12.7%

In the week that the government called on universities to attract more industry funding, the University of Oxford has announced its largest ever income from research.

The university's research income for this year was over £114m, an increase of 6.5% on last year - a figure claimed as the most ever earned by a British university.

Oxford's research-related income now represents more than half of the university's annual budget.

[ image: Research into treating diabetes drew funding from over 20 organisations]
Research into treating diabetes drew funding from over 20 organisations
This includes a rise of 12.7% in income from research carried out for British industry, contributing £8m to the total.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Sue Iversen, responsible for research funding, said that the increase reflected "the quality and breadth of our basic research, which puts us in a uniquely strong position to grasp new funding opportunities".

The largest slice of research earnings were from government-funded research councils, which spent £43m on projects in Oxford.

The single largest commissioner of research was the Medical Research Council, which spent almost £20m, followed by the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council and Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

Major research projects can often be funded by a large number of interested parties. For instance, research into reducing the complications caused by diabetes was funded by over 20 different organisations - including the Medical Research Council, the British Diabetic Association and several pharmaceutical companies.

Charities, particularly those fundraising for medical research, were prominent in the multi-million expenditure on research at Oxford. This year the total income from charities was over £38m, an increase of £7m compared to two years ago.

While research grants from charities have risen, there is a slight decline in spending from health authorities, down from £2.2m to £2.1 this year.

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